June 13, 2011
1 Anish Kapoor – Leviathan
2 Anish Kapoor – Leviathan
The British Sculptor invites visitors to take a look inside an enormous PVC sculpture at the Grand Palais in Paris.
With his largest ever artwork and his first exhibit in Paris in 30 years, Kapoor has created a huge Sci-Fi themed structure that he has dedicated to missing Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei.
Ai, whose sunflower seeds work closed recently at the Tate Modern, hasn’t been seen in over a month. He was arrested as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong from Beijing on 3rd April for “economic crimes” and has been missing ever since.
Despite never meeting him, Kapoor considers Weiwei as his colleague and feels that his disappearance is a true tragedy, stating; “Accuse him of something. Give him a lawyer. Let him defend himself…The state is not threatened by artists.”
He has also called for a worldwide day of action where museums and galleries close for a day in sympathy for Ai Weiwei.
Anish is no stranger to creating larger than life artworks after previously filling the Turbine Hall at the Tate in 2002 with his trumpet-like sculpture, Marsyas.
He is also currently working on a 140ft tower for the Olympics stadium next year. However, Leviathan has proved to be a harder task than filling the Turbine, as it is three times the size, both horizontally and vertically.
It is 35 metres high and is made of tightly-stretched PVC over a metal frame. When inflated, the structure consists of 4 connected balloon-like shapes, and takes up about 13,500 square metres. The PVC alone also weighs 18 tonnes.
Kapoor and his team have spent a week inflating it without a trial run as they had “one shot”. He also said that “doing a project like this is about taking a risk.” The work on Leviathan was done all over Europe, with the initial computer work conducted in England, the PVC cut in Germany, assembled in Italy and finally set up by a Czech crew in Paris.
Leviathan will stay up at the Grand Palais until 23rd June, and is expected to take around 90 minutes to deflate fully.